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MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, 30 VICTORIA STREET, BELFAST, BT1 3GG, NORTHERN IRELAND
Tel:
Work 028 9055 3300
Fax:
Fax 028 9055 0096
DX:
433 NR BELFAST 1
Web:
www.tughans.com

Northern Ireland

Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Michael McCord is the key name at Tughans for commercial disputes, which are the backbone of the litigation practice. Kathy McGillie handles insurance litigation and Andrew Anthony is well known for advising on healthcare disputes. Construction disputes are also a key area of activity; McCord is leading the team representing Northstone (NI) in a €3m dispute with a Romanian client pertaining to a construction project taking place in Romania. Landlord and tenant disputes, media litigation and intellectual property disputes have all featured in the group’s recent caseload. Other clients include Randox Laboratories and the Bank of Ireland. Managing partner Patrick Brown is a key name for procurement disputes. Director Naomi Cooper is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Michael McCord - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Corporate and commercial

Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans ’ corporate practice, which is singled out for its ‘excellent local knowledge of the market’, has been acting on large-scale transactions and investments across the real estate, technology, logistics, manufacturing and retail sectors; private equity work is another area of strength. Highlights included John McGuckian advising pharmaceutical contract research company Fusion Antibodies on its multimillion-pound listing on the Alternative Investment Market; the company was the only trading entity to list its shares on the stock exchange in 2017. John-George Willis heads the practice and is widely recognised for his corporate expertise. Investment fund expert and ‘excellent corporate lawyerCiara Lagan advised biometric authentication development company B-Secur on an investment of £3.5m by a syndicate comprising venture capital funds Accelerated Digital Ventures and Kernel Capital and four individuals.

Leading individuals

John-George Willis - Tughans

Next generation lawyers

Ciara Lagan - Tughans

John McGuckian - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Finance

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans’ finance team provides a ‘very good level of service’ to banks, corporates and investment firms on restructurings, property development, acquisitions and project finance, among other areas. Highlights included acting as Northern Ireland counsel to Delamare Cards MTN Issuer regarding the £1.4bn issuance of notes backed by Visa and MasterCard credit card receivables originated by Tesco Personal Finance PLC; advising Investec Bank on a £27m financing to a South African investment company to purchase a Tesco Superstore in Newry; and acting as Northern Ireland counsel to NewDay inits £295m issuance of consumer credit-backed securities. Other clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which the firm represented in its purchase of the Jurys Inn Group, and the Bank of Ireland, which the firm advised on providing increased loan facilities to a leading telecoms provider for the purpose of restructuring the group. Fearghal O'Loan jointly leads the practice with David McAleese, who is well known for his expertise in property and restructuring mandates.

Leading individuals

Fearghal O’Loan - Tughans

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans’ insolvency practice attracts praise for its ‘very strong business acumen’ and assists banks, accountancy firms, insolvent companies and directors across a spectrum of matters, including the appointment of administrators, debt recovery and liquidation proceedings. Highlights included representing Boxpak in a dispute with insolvent bakery company Reynards and its administrators regarding a £250,000 debt owed to Boxpak alongside stock worth £100,000 held by Reynards, which was subject to a retention of title clause in favour of Boxpak; the stock was successfully returned to the client. Other clients include Bank of Scotland, Keenan Corporate Finance and Bank of Ireland. Toby McMurray and Fearghal O'Loan lead the team, which also includes director Kevin Gallagher, who is singled out for his ‘good attention to detail and commercially minded approach’ towards contentious insolvency matters.

Leading individuals

Toby McMurray - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Human resources

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans’ employment group acts for employers in a range of industries, including manufacturing, agri-food, finance and energy. Recent work for the group includes advising on employment aspects arising from multimillion-pound mergers and acquisitions, restrictive covenants, unfair dismissals, TUPE issues and discrimination claims. The ‘practical and extremely thoroughAnna Beggan  leads the team; she has ‘excellent interpersonal skills’ and a solid track record handling discrimination claims before the Industrial Tribunal. Director Patricia Rooney  is ‘very approachable and considerate of clients' needs’ and has been handling unfair dismissal claims and restrictive covenant matters. Director Rachel Richardson  is ‘very professional’ and is experienced in TUPE issues.

Leading individuals

Anna Beggan - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Insurance

Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant
Personal injury and clinical negligence: defendant - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans’ clinical negligence and personal injury team is ‘exemplary in every aspect’, according to one client. Practice head Kathy McGillie  has expertise in defending employers in catastrophic and life-changing injury claims, including asbestos and mesothelioma matters; policy coverage cases are another core strength. Neil Smyth (‘his engagement with clients is excellent’) and Neil Cahill are key names for employers’ and public liability matters; both have experience acting for clients in claims arising from accidents that occur while abroad. The ‘very professionalAndrew Anthony  leads on healthcare and clinical negligence matters; recent work includes delayed diagnosis/failure to diagnose claims and high-value GP negligence cases. Alistair Wilson, who garners praise for his ‘excellent legal advice’, is another key name and is known for representing healthcare professionals in clinical negligence claims.

Leading individuals

Alistair Wilson - Tughans

Andrew Anthony - Tughans

Kathy McGillie - Tughans

Next generation lawyers

Neil Smyth - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: Projects, energy and natural resources

Energy
Energy - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans has a solid track record in handling renewable and non-renewable energy mandates, with notable expertise in advising clients on wind farm acquisitions. The group advises Granville Ecopark on supplying pressurised natural gas generated via its anaerobic digestion plant in Dungannon to landfill gas sites based around Northern Ireland. Other clients include Aircore and Northern Ireland Water. Corporate head John-George Willis leads the group.

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Northern Ireland: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans’ ‘accurate, detailed and business-focused’ team has a solid track record advising on high-profile and high-value property sales within the hotel, retail, energy and insolvency sectors, with student accommodation a growing area of activity. Highlights included acting for Randox Laboratories in the acquisition of a farm business on a 300-acre site via a share purchase, which involved a simultaneous hive up of property, a group restructure and letting and funding arrangements. David Jones leads the team, which includes Joe Moore, James Pringle and Rebecca Moffett. Consultant Phyllis Agnew is highly regarded for her expertise in development-related property mandates.

Leading individuals

Phyllis Agnew - Tughans

Next generation lawyers

Rebecca Moffett - Tughans

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans’ ‘knowledgeable and easy-to-work-with’ team handles the gamut of front-end construction matters and high-value disputes for a wide-ranging client base, with energy and office projects prominent areas of instruction in 2017. The group is advising Apple on the procurement of a €850m data centre, and is assisting Celtic Anglian Water with a planned €160m expansion of the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant in Dublin. In another matter, the group acts for Castleforge Partners in a high-value redevelopment of multistorey office building River House in Belfast. On the contentious side, the team is representing Northstone in a dispute with a client regarding €3m-worth of claims arising from a construction project in Romania. Practice head Michael McCord is recognised for his expertise in contentious construction matters; ‘he has an appetite for the detail in a complex case and an encyclopaedic knowledge of construction law’. The ‘practicalTim Kinney  is recommended for his experience in construction procurement work.

Leading individuals

Michael McCord - Tughans

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Planning and environment
Planning and environment - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans’s planning practice has ‘great knowledge’ of a wide range of sectors and a solid track record working on major projects within the utility, infrastructure and energy sectors. Practice head Maria O'Loan has been assisting Northern Ireland (NI) Water with a procurement matter regarding the purchase of renewable power for its Dunore Point Water Treatment Works; after no successful bidder was identified, the group advised NI Water on the successful procurement of land and an EPC contract in order to develop, commission and run its own solar farm for the benefit of the water treatment works. The Ulster Council Gaelic Athletic Association and Apple are other key clients of the firm.

Leading individuals

Maria O'Loan - Tughans

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Northern Ireland: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Tughans

Tughans assists investment funds with technology-related investments and also handles transactional matters for technology companies. Highlights included acting for software company AuditComply - which provides enterprise risk management software across the engineering, manufacturing, food and logistics industries - on an inward investment made by Business Growth Fund, First Derivatives and Invest Northern Ireland. Global search engines are included in the firm’s client base. Adrian O'Connell leads the team and is known for handling non-contentious mandates; corporate partners Ciara Lagan, John McGuckian and James Donnelly often act on transactions in this area.

Leading individuals

Adrian O’Connell - Tughans

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Tughans

Tughans has a solid track record in assisting technology and biotechnology companies across a spectrum of IP matters, including patent protection, technology development agreements, M&A-related IP matters, and licensing agreements pertaining to investments. In a key mandate, the group assisted e-commerce company Export Technologies with the development, ownership and exploitation of its IRP e-commerce platform. Other clients include OCO Global, Fusion Antibodies and Titan IC. Adrian O'Connell, who is highly regarded for his technology expertise, heads the team.

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